Annihilation: Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1 by Jeff VanderMeer
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Annihilation: Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1 Audiobook by Jeff VanderMeer is the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy. The story opens with four women consisting of a biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist and a surveyor go on an expedition to an uninhabited and protected area called as Area X. The members are not identified by name in the novel.
The biologist is the narrator of the story. The group is a part of 12th expedition to the area. It is also revealed that her husband was also a part of the previous expedition to the Area X. It is supposed to be a fatal expedition as the previous expeditions have led to death of all the team members.
The group suddenly discovers a topographic anomaly near their camp. The top of a structure which appears like a buried tower emerges from the ground. Its interior is similar to a spiraling staircase which goes endlessly inside the earth. The team examines the upper areas of the tower and they find strange luminescent plant growth and scurrying animals. There are differences among the group and the expedition party begins to break apart.
The biologist feels a personal connection developing between her and the Area X. This affinity to the Area X brings about changes in the biologist. She discovers that the circumstances of their expedition may have ulterior motives. She also feels that considering her position, the personal connection will make her a prominent figure in the expedition group. She goes down to the tower to search for creatures and other important clues which may have caused the fungal writings.
Annihilation: Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1 Audiobook by Jeff VanderMeer is a science fiction novel. It received positive reviews from the critics and the readers. The plot is compact and fast paced with many unexpected twists and turns to keep the readers engaged till the climax. The character of the biologist and her motivation to act in a particular way have been detailed by the author. The manner in which the author has transformed the landscape of Area X into horror and mystery is commendable. This is a recommended read for the science fiction fans.